Tour of the Virtues and Vices
Let us lead you to Kuks Hospital to discover the healing atmosphere of its garden, a centuries-old apothecary and allegorical sculptures of human virtues and vices. The trip is possible whatever the weather. Please note that some places can be visited only with a guide for a fee. The route begins and ends on the terrace in front of the church.
1. Virtues and Vices
Statues are the soul of Kuks – dozens stand here, there and everywhere. The most popular are the Virtues and the Vices - 24 women representing the good and the bad in all of us. Created by Matthias Bernard Braun - a highly talented artist, they are examples of the best Czech Baroque had to offer.
The statues of the Virtues and Vices in front of Kuks Hospital are only replicas completed in 1984. The originals can be seen during a tour around Kuks Hospital, in the local lapidary.
The Virtues (on the left)
Faith, Hope, Charity, Patience, Wisdom, Bravery, Chastity, Diligence, Generosity, Sincerity, Justice and Temperance
The Vices (on the right)
Pride, Parsimony, Envy, Fornication, Gluttony, Anger, Sloth, Despair, Frivolity, Slander and Deceit
The Terrace (centre)
8 statues of the Beatitudes, either side of a Religious-themed statue. Left, to the front of the Virtues: The Angel of Happy Death; right, in front of the Vices: The Angel of Pitiful Death.
2. Kuks Hospital
The valley's chief landmark is the majestic Kuks Hospital with its Church of the Holy Trinity and the hospital garden. Here all human sin and righteousness is laid bare, as is a dance with Death and past medical treatments. It was once a retirement home for war veterans and the elderly.
Visit the Baroque apothecary to find out how wolf's liver or powder from mummified corpses were used. Be a pharmacist in the Pharmacy Museum. Take in the Dance of Death – not to be found anywhere else, and peek into the Count's tomb. Sample the finest Czech wines the cellars have to offer.
At Kuks Hospital, accommodation, catering and healthcare services were available for seniors free of any charge. The building contained an apothecary, hospital, library, refectory, kitchen, dining room, offices and rooms for guests.
3. Pomegranate Apothecary
Visit the Baroque apothecary to find out how wolf's liver or powder from mummified corpses were used. Such ingredients are still available, surprisingly. And why not in the second oldest pharmacy in this country? The original furniture dates from the 18th century. Visiting the apothecary is part of the paid tour around Kuks Hospital.
4. Czech Pharmaceutical Museum
What’s it like to be a pharmacist? Find out in the Czech Pharmaceutical Museum. You may try making your very own youth potion or at least a pill. Discover how and what has been used to treat ailments from the Baroque to the present day. If the smell of medicinal plants makes you dizzy, help is at hand. Whether it is leech containers or delicious herb drops from Kuks, there is sure to be something to put you right.
5. Hospital Garden
A regular ground plan, gravel paths, carefully cut box hedges, giant obelisks and numerous statues. Are you in at chateau on the River Loire? Oh no, you've entered the hospital herb garden! They used the area to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs for the hospital and the Pomegranate Apothecary. The Great Christian Soldier and other statues on the grounds were moved to the park from a nativity scene by Braun to keep them safe.
6. Gallery of Czech Wines
Visit the basement and find "truth in the bottom of a wine glass". This comprehensive collection of Czech wines is unique. Sampling excellent Czech wine and taking home a bottle or two is a great option. But nothing beats a glass when sitting in the vineyard gazebo and admiring the view.
7. Tomb of the Count
Take a peek into the Count's tomb. Along with the hospital, temple and cemetery, it used to make up the spiritual world of Kuks - the so-called "bank of death". On the opposite side of the River Elbe was the bank of life with a chateau, theatre, a!nd the never-ending jollity of spa life.
Each evening after a ball drew to a close, the Count invited guests onto the balcony of the chateau on the opposite bank and pointed to the eternal light shining from the tomb, just to r!emind everyone of the transience of life.
Resting in the tomb are the founder of the family and imperial general Johann Sporck, his son and founder of Kuks Franz Anton, and other relatives. The facility also contains the remains of the last Countess of Kuks, Katherina Swéerts- Sporck († 1945).
Tento web vznikl v rámci projektu Kuks–Braunův kraj. Projekt je spolufinancován Evropskou unií z Evropského fondu pro regionální rozvoj v rámci Regionálního operačního programu NUTS II Severovýchod.